Three major international bodies have pledged to but their support behind a drive to use mobile broadband to improve the provision of global healthcare.
The United Nations, the Vodafone Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation's mHealth Alliance have all underlined their support for the effort use the technology to improve access to potentially life-saving care throughout the world.
Under the initiative mobile broadband services could be used to link city doctors to patients in otherwise isolated areas to improve their access to medical advice and services.
Vodafone Foundation trustee Terry Kramer said: "I believe it is critical for us to harness the benefits that mobile technology can bring to global healthcare, in both sociological and economic terms."
The UN Foundation and Vodafone Foundation Partnership was created in 2005 with a £10 million endowment from the communications company and aims to develop rapid response infrastructure to meet disaster relief needs as well as information systems to help counter the spread of disease.